The PA Association of Sustainable Agriculture will host a farmer-to-farmer education event on Productive Riparian Buffers on October 15 at the Happy Hollow Farm, 2486 Orwig Road in Stewartstown, York County.
This field day will be an in-depth look at a 5-year old riparian buffer that both follows Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) guidelines, as well as addresses different uses outside the CREP boundaries.
Farm Service Agency employee Don English and wife, landscape architect Ann, have designed a buffer that uses a wide variety of native plants in the CREP area, such as elderberry, hollies, aronia, and viburnums, as well as a broader range of species outside the CREP area--including a number of heritage apples.
Principles of buffer design, plant selection, working with government programs, and finding value in the buffer-- ecological, social, and economic-- will be discussed.
The Englishes will also share the lessons they have learned over five years of buffer installation and management—what’s worked for them and what, in hindsight, they’ might have done differently.
Tracey Coulter, a representative of the DCNR, will be present to discuss agroforestry initiatives within DCNR related to riparian buffer projects.
Also present will be representatives of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA and Stroud Water Research Center, organizations that work with farmers and landowners in the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware River watersheds in installing buffers by providing technical as well as access to financial assistance.
This field day is a good event for any landowner or farmer who is considering planting a buffer on their land and is wondering what sort of productive potential there might be, what funding opportunities exist, and how, in general, to make the project work.